How are Millennials (Gen Y) Impacted by COVID?

millennials and covid header

Are you a millennial? If so, read our short article to find our tips and insights on the common challenges millennials face during COVID and how to overcome them!

Millennials and COVID

Whether its favouring flexibility, adoption of technology or risk-taking, millennials have a different lifestyle than previous generations. However, the COVID impact on millennials has been just as significant. In this week’s Instagram Live, we discussed how millennials are facing and adjusting to COVID with Brittany and Julia.


What are some characteristics of millennials?

One of the common traits of being a millennial is emphasizing the importance of work-life balance and establishing flexibility in the work environment. Millennials have a greater tendency to choose flex-time, compressed workweek or a completely flexible schedule. This allows them to not have work as their primary focus in life.

Millennials are also more risk-taking which complements their want for flexibility. Instead of working for corporations with set hours and responsibilities, millennials might be more inclined to starting their own business or working as a freelancer. In fact, both our guest speakers Julia and Brittany run their own business from their homes.

These qualities of millennials are further supported by their tech-savviness. Millennials are early adopters of new technologies and they learn these technologies faster than previous generations. This puts them at an advantage and increases their flexible work opportunities.


How do these millennial traits impact their adjustment to COVID?

Since millennials are more tech-savvy, pivoting their business to online during COVID has been easier. Some virtual business owners might be ahead of the curve because of their existing online systems and presence. Additionally, understanding these technologies better than their clients put millennial business owners at an advantage in serving clients during a pandemic.

This pivot to online businesses and shutting down physical locations also complement the millennials’ inclination to working flexibly. Employees and business owners now can work from the comfort of their home and might even be setting their own hours, which complement the millennial lifestyle.


What are some challenges millennials face while adapting to the new normal?


An average millennial spends more time on their screen than any other generation. As COVID forces everyone to self- isolate and do everything online, the increased screen time is tiresome for this generation. It’s not only tiring to have increased screen time during work, but productivity also decreases for many with more distractions around such as getting social media notifications.

In addition to the increased work time spent online, the time spent on social media is greater which leads many millennials to feel worse about themselves. The lack of social outings leads them to spend more time on social media looking at other people’s activities. It can often be forgotten that social media may not reflect real-life situations and some millennials who see others having fun or becoming successful may start damaging their own mental health by comparing themselves with others.


How has COVID financially impacted millennials?


COVID has widened the economic division between income levels which have negatively impacted millennials. Many millennials entered the workforce during the financial crisis of 2009 and had to accept lower starting salaries. This trend negatively impacted their long-term career growth compared to other generations.   Many millennials have side hustles in addition to their primary careers as a result.

In addition to having a lower income, many millennials are saddled with student debt, mortgages and down payments. As millennials approach a stage in life where they are juggling student loans and saving for their first homes, it has become more difficult to manage their finances during COVID. Some who work as employees are staying in unsatisfactory jobs to pay off their debt which impacts their career growth. For others who own a business, there is the added challenge of losing clients as businesses slow down during COVID. Despite their tech-savviness, some millennial business owners rely on face to face interactions to acquire clients which have been on hold for months. Although some millenial entrepreneurs build additional income streams by doing public speaking or giving online workshops, business owners overall are still becoming comfortable with this new approach.

Despite the loss of income opportunities, some millennial business owners have fewer liabilities to face during the pandemic. For those who own an online business, not only do they have an advantage in adjusting to COVID work conditions but also with reduced expenses. As there are no overhead costs such as rent, online business owners can retain more of their earnings. This is especially beneficial during COVID since most offices and businesses have been shut down and are not being used.


What advice can we give to millennials to help them during COVID?


  1. Limit your time spent online:

    1. If you spend too much time on social media, try to control how much time you spend on each platform. Increasing your awareness of your time spent helps to monitor your social media use and increase your productivity. If you can’t find other things to do, try moving around the house or going for short walks. This will not only reduce your screen time but also ease your mind.
    2. If you find yourself feeling bad because you think you are doing worse than others during COVID, control how many people you actively follow. Brittany shared how putting a limit on the number of stories she watches helps her feel less guilty. This tip also works well for millennials who have online businesses. Don’t get too wrapped up on your competitors’ followers or likes because it may not mean they are better than you. You might be more successful in other ways and the number of followers might not significantly correlate with your revenue.
  2. Leverage your skills and online presence to grow your business:

    1. If you want to get ahead of the competition on the digital platforms, embrace your digital-savvy. Leverage your skills to understand who your customers are and where they are online. Use your digital strengths to figure out how to monetize engage and bring in clients.
    2. More people are online, so improving your online presence is important. Since we can’t network face to face and meet with potential clients, bring down the boundaries of the digital world by ensuring that your online presence reflects your personality and appeal as if you are presenting yourself physically.


We hope you enjoyed reading our blog about ‘Millennials and COVID’! Check the full live chat here. You can find our live chats and more of the latest financial news on our News Blog. Stay tuned to learn more tips on a new topic each week on our Instagram Live at 5 on Instagram! Aside from our live chats, we post daily financial updates on social media!

More Financial News & Events

Contact Jackie